Get a better author photo without spending a fortune

“Raise your hand if you’ve seen a bad author photo on an author’s website or used in a social media profile recently.

My hand is up.

I’ve seen photos where the author is just staring into a webcam. No smile. No warmth. Just a stare.

Then there are the smartphone selfies. (What adult has actually mastered the art of the selfie?)

Sometimes you can tell that another person standing next to the author has been cropped out.

Other times, the author is joined in the photo by someone else — usually a spouse — who isn’t cropped out.

If your author photo is bad, is your book bad, too?

These amateur photos are certainly more affordable than professional head shots, but they aren’t very useful. The author might as well be saying to readers, ‘Quality isn’t important to me.’

Put more simply: When readers see that you don’t care enough to use a quality head shot, they might think that you don’t care enough to write a quality book, either. Who’s going to take a chance on a book that might be sub-par at best?

I’ve said it before: Quality counts. You need to write a good book, and you need to present yourself to readers as a writer who cares about getting things ‘right.’

The goal is to always create a book and corresponding marketing materials that are as good as your book. Your headshot is one key element of all of those materials, whether we’re talking about your Amazon Author Central profile, your website, or the profile photo you use for social media accounts. They all feature your head shot — it’s the common denominator.

So it had better be good.

Yes, you have to spend money to get a good quality professional author photo. Many authors are reluctant to do that, while others simply don’t have the money for it. Money can be an obstacle, but there’s usually a way around that.”

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